erik lundegaard

Politics posts

Sunday April 15, 2018

Exit Stage Right? Trump's ‘Rampant Criminality’

“I am unaware of anybody who has taken a serious look at Trump’s business who doesn’t believe that there is a high likelihood of rampant criminality. In Azerbaijan, he did business with a likely money launderer for Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. In the Republic of Georgia, he partnered with a group that was being investigated for a possible role in the largest known bank-fraud and money-laundering case in history. In Indonesia, his development partner is “knee-deep in dirty politics”; there are criminal investigations of his deals in Brazil; the F.B.I. is reportedly looking into his daughter Ivanka’s role in the Trump hotel in Vancouver, for which she worked with a Malaysian family that has admitted to financial fraud. Back home, Donald, Jr., and Ivanka were investigated for financial crimes associated with the Trump hotel in SoHo—an investigation that was halted suspiciously. His Taj Mahal casino received what was then the largest fine in history for money-laundering violations.”

—Adam Davidson, The New Yorker, “Michael Cohen and the End Stage of the Trump Presidency.” He says that reporters on the ground knew Iraq was fucked in April 2003 before the rest of us. He says business reporters who were paying attention knew the world economy was fucked in Dec. 2007 before the rest of us. And he says people who are paying attention know that Trump is done. Collusion is still up in the air. But this stuff? This stuff will stick, he says.

Follow the links above. And this one to Davidson on Rachel Maddow's show last fall. And this one to Davidson tweeting some of the above yesterday. 

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Posted at 09:28 AM on Apr 15, 2018 in category Politics
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Friday April 06, 2018

Dammmmnn

“When it comes to the phenomenon of Donald Trump, you have to give him this: sanctimony is not foremost among his sins. He provokes no moral disappointment, because he creates no moral expectations. Just as his business career was characterized by Mob-connected cronies, racial bias, aggrieved contractors, dubious partners, byzantine lawsuits, and tabloid sensation, his Presidency dispenses with ethical pretense. Human rights in foreign affairs, compassion for the disadvantaged in domestic affairs, and truth in public statements are objects only of disdain.”

— David Remnick, “Cambridge Analytica and a Moral Reckoning in Silicon Valley: The latest Trump-adjacent scandal will have consequences far outside the White House,” New Yorker

Read this last night. Just went “Dah-yum.” If Trump had sense enough, he'd wither from the brutal truth of it. But part of his power is in his obtuseness. That's part of how he's never held accountable. You get the feeling when the reckoning comes, it will come, not for him, but for the country.

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Posted at 06:45 AM on Apr 06, 2018 in category Politics
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Wednesday March 28, 2018

The NRA's People Problem

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Posted at 09:50 AM on Mar 28, 2018 in category Politics
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Sunday March 25, 2018

What I Saw at the Revolution

Yesterday, Patricia, Ward, Linda, Pasha, David and I joined the #MarchForOurLives protest, started by the kids at Marjory Stoneman Douglas School in Parkland, Florida, following the school shooting there that left 17 dead on, of all days, Feb. 14, 2018.

The Seattle march went from Cal Anderson Park on Capitol Hill, through downtown, from 4th to 5th Avenue, and on to the Space Needle and Seattle Center. There's no official estimate on numbers. The Times (both Seattle and New York), keep using the term “thousands,” which makes it seem rinky-dink. This protest was anything but. At one point, the march stretched from Cal Anderson to the Space Needle—meaning some finished the 2.2 miles before others got the chance to start—and my own observation backs this up.

When it began, I think we were close to the front but peeled off for a Top Pot break (coffee for most, raised glazed for me), then joined in again. At Seattle Center, we were directed down Harrison, and, thinking that was the end (per the recent Women's Marches), hung out against a wall awhile. 10 minutes maybe? Ward, checking twitter, said Gov. Jay Inslee was giving a speech, so we kept going, to the space opposite the International Fountain, and hung out and listened to speeches there for another 15 minutes or so. Then the walk home. As we passed under the Space Needle, we saw, over on 5th Avenue, marchers still streaming in, a street full of people moving at a steady clip. A half hour after we finished. 

“Thousands,” Seattle Times?

The more important numbers will be seen on Tuesday, Nov. 6. I've never seen my side so energized about a mid-term election. 

#MarchForOurLivesSeattle

Start of the march just off Cal Anderson, under cloudy skies and low 40s.

#MarchForOurLivesSeattle

Downtown Seattle. The Emma sign was made by the 13-year-old daughter of a friend of ours.

#MarchForOurLivesSeattle

Looking up Pine toward Cal Anderson.

#MarchForOurLivesSeattle

Great “Three Billboards” take

#MarchForOurLivesSeattle

 My favorite sign. Under clear skies and high 40s.

The NRA posts.

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Posted at 08:43 AM on Mar 25, 2018 in category Politics
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Wednesday March 21, 2018

Brennan vs. Trump: Dawn of Justice?

This is how nuts everything is.

On Friday, March 16, the Attorney General of the United States, Jeff Sessions, fired the deputy director of the FBI, Andrew McCabe, two days short of his retirement, for reasons we‘re not quite clear on yet, but which, overall, smack of political retribution. Shortly thereafter, the president of the United States, Donald J. Trump, sent this message to the nation via tweet:

Andrew McCabe FIRED, a great day for the hard working men and women of the FBI - A great day for Democracy. Sanctimonious James Comey was his boss and made McCabe look like a choirboy. He knew all about the lies and corruption going on at the highest levels of the FBI!

It’s that classic GOP strategy—accuse others of your own crimes—filtered through the taunting and bullying manner of a third-grader. I‘ll pause for a second to remind everyone that Trump wouldn’t even be president if it wasn't for James Comey. 

But that's not the nuts thing. 

The following morning, the former director of the CIA, John O. Brennan, responded to Trump, the sitting president of the United States, with this quote-retweet of his own:

When the full extent of your venality, moral turpitude, and political corruption becomes known, you will take your rightful place as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history. You may scapegoat Andy McCabe, but you will not destroy America ... America will triumph over you.

Again, that's from a former director of the CIA to the sitting president of the United States. For everyone to see.  

But in a way that's not the nuts thing, either. The nuts things is that this isn't making headlines. It's barely a blip on the media radar.

No tagsPosted at 06:25 AM on Mar 21, 2018 in category Politics
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